Surprise council repeals temporary sign policy

Richard Smith
Independent Newsmedia

At the Feb. 21 City Council meeting, the council unanimously repealed the city-wide temporary sign police and the Bell and Grand temporary sign policy.

Following a request by the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, the council amended both resolutions to take effect 60 days after the vote, rather than the customary 30 days. This will allow businesses about another month to come up with alternative ways to market themselves.

Traffic flows eastbound along Grand Avenue Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 in Surprise. With the project largely complete, Surprise has rescinded its temporary sign policy for the area. (Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia)

Councilman Ken Remley said he initially wanted the signs removed by 30 days, particularly the large number of signs at Bell and Dysart roads that will be seen by visitors to spring training games.

“We’ve got nothing but trash on that corner,” Councilman Remley said during the meeting.

Councilman John Williams countered that the 60 day period was more fair to businesses and if the concern was the look of the corner for spring training, the move to repeal should have come earlier.

Construction of the ramps connecting Bell Road and Grand Avenue was underway a month ago, which caused the city to pause on lifting the policy. Most of those signs are for businesses tucked away on Foxfire Drive, north of Bell.

“I just think that’s really heavy handed (30 days). When you look at Foxfire, they don’t have frontage there,” Councilman Williams said.

The citywide temporary sign ordinance has been in place since 2009. Vice Mayor Todd Tande had reservations about what its repeal would mean for churches and real estate agents but was told the policy must apply uniformly.

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